A delegation of 11 CIM-ORT (Collegio Israelita de Mexico) students and two teachers recently delivered 26 suitcases full of humanitarian aid to members of Cuba’s Jewish community.
The five day trip was made possible thanks to links established by the Colegio Israelita de Mexico (CIM-ORT) school in Mexico City and ORT Cuba. William Miller, ORT’s representative in Cuba, organized the itinerary.
The Mexican students had prepared for the trip with special classes on the background of Cuba’s Jewish community to understand what it means to live in a Communist country while trying to preserve your roots and traditions. They also ran a campaign to collect vital items, medicine and money that were needed by the Havana Jewish community.
In Cuba, CIM-ORT students helped to clean the Jewish cemetery, cook for the elderly and visit the sick. Additional voluntary work was undertaken at the Joshua White Community Center.
“Our students learned an important lesson, that when you give with the heart, you get much more in return,” observed Amelie Esquenazi, ORT’s Networking Coordinator for Latin America. She said the five-day trip was one of the most significant projects she had ever participated in.
Avi Meir, CIM-ORT principal, said: “The school has been working hard for many years to promote the Jewish concept of ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ and help the needy and the weak. The students learned an important lesson on what it means to help our brethren worldwide.”
CIM-ORT has almost 600 students, and alongside its focus on STEM education, concentrates on providing pupils with a focus on global vision, Jewish identity and social responsibility. The “Tikkun Olam” program at the school fosters social empathy towards families, the community and nation, while developing attitudes, values and methods capable of promoting positive social change. The school has previously undertaken many ORT network collaborations, programs and exchange visits with ORT students in Russia and Argentina.